The story of a calm sea, an underwater eruption, basalt flows, and the passage of time.
Thanks to Forest P Kan for the time-lapse.
With my final project piece I attempt to tell a geologic story, specifically about volcanism and continent formation, as well as explore the passage of time, and how that relates to setting, specifically the ephemeral nature of features that appear static to us due to our relatively short lifespans compared to the four and a half billion year old earth. The piece begins long ago in a peaceful primordial sea. Our peace and tranquility is broken by the tremors and explosions of an undersea volcanic eruption. Eventually, this newly formed volcano breaks the sea surface, and an onslaught of basaltic magma flows, bubbles, gurgles, and spews creating a molten hell-scape. But this period is also short-lived: the magma supply slows, the volcanic island arc is accreted onto the continent, and the once spectacular volcano becomes just a part of the ground beneath our feet, forgotten for millions of years.
In addition to the overarching volcanic narrative, I also play with elements that reflect the passage of time on human timescales. I accomplish this with the use of samples. Firstly, I sample modular synthesizers which have a characteristic retro/early electronic music sound. I also created a “techno” beat that reflects the techno that came out of Detroit in the early 90s. I also sample a documentary about volcanic events in the 20th century which was done by Walter Cronkite, a famous CBS newscaster, who is one of the principal media figures of the previous generation.
In addition to the cultural passage of time, I also used this piece to reflect the passage of time in my own life. I have been interested in recording music since middle school, and have done numerous experiments with it and recordings with friends throughout my primary education. This piece contains samples recorded when I was in high school as well as college.
Finally, I work with a visual component that I hope makes the story and concepts explored in the music more clear, and highlights the inspiration for the sounds. I would also like to thank Boards of Canada for much inspiration in the musical approach, especially the album Geogaddi.